Adventures and Tours
Hiking at Mareas Nature Wildlife Preserve: Private Trails for every kind of hiker just steps away from your suite, the rainforest trails take you to our two private water falls and diverse nature trails.
Mareas Turtle Hatching Program: To preserve the reproduction of the turtles we are now participating with the marine biologist at the park to closely monitor and regulate some of the more famous nesting sites in Playa Hermosa. From May to September, Mareas has a special program for guests to volunteer in the collection of turtle eggs for the hatchery as well assisting in the release of the baby turtles back to the ocean. Olive Ridley and Hawksbill Turtles can be seen laying their eggs on night visits to the beach between May and November. The largest numbers arrive on the waning moon, usually in September.
Canopy Zip Line Tours: Hacienda Baru spans 815 acres and was declared a National Wildlife Refuge in 1995. On the zip line tour, 8 separate cable rides take you from one ridge top to another, across valleys and streams. There are 14 land based platforms and 1 tree platform with a view of the coast. You will have 2 guides on this tour, one of whom speaks fluent English. This is a great way to see and learn about the forest and have lots of fun at the same time.
Bird Watching: Neighboring Mareas, Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, is home to a great variety of birds, with at least 310 species spotted in the refuge and surrounding habitats. The refuge staff explains bird behavior and shares with you other valuable information regarding this neo-tropical sanctuary. It is quite common to spot about 50 to 60 species in just one morning; guides will take you on an incredible half day walk helping you spot the numerous birds. The trails which cross through different habitats, give you the opportunity to observe a great number of bird species, maximizing your birding experience in Costa Rica. Its proximity to the beach and the Ballena Marine National Park will also give you the chance to observe some interesting shore bird species.
Ballena National Marine Park: The Marino Ballena National Park borders Mareas beach, “Playa Hermosa” to the south. It was created in 1990 to preserve and protect the largest coral reef on the Pacific Coast of Central America and it forms a crescent necklace with the three small islands known as Las Tres Hermanas (three sisters) and Ballena Island as the center piece. The park stretches from the southern end of Playa Hermosa to the northern end of Playa Piñuela and about 9 miles (15 km) seaward.
Sports Fishing: The Dominical area is world famous for its sport fishing. Bill fishing is very popular, especially from December to June. Experience some of the world’s best off shore fishing for Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo, and Dorado found in our Pacific waters. You can also throw out your line in a large mangrove system providing excellent fly fishing for Roosterfish, Snook, Snapper, and Sea Bass. Check out one of our great local sport fishing charters at www.costaricasfishing.com
Surfing: The surf is consistent and constant in Playa Hermosa and Dominical. One of the best things about surfing in Costa Rica is that the water is WARM. Temperatures range from 78F to 90F (25-32C) both in and out of the water! There are several surf schools and surf camps that will accommodate all skill levels and include surfboard rentals.
Waterfall Repelling: There are two options with Tree of Life for rappelling:The first is Baru Falls which has two waterfalls. This tour begins with a short hike to the top of a magnificent 120 foot waterfall. After rappelling down the tour takes another short hike to the base of the lower 60 foot waterfall which cascades into a beautiful swimming hole. After the rappelling excitement and a refreshing swim, you can enjoy the surrounding beauty with a bite to eat with your comrades. The second option is located on the Tinamaste Ridge and is a bit more of a hike. The ridge boasts a canyon of about 12 waterfalls ranging in height from 20 feet to 600 feet. Rappelling options on this tour depend on the experience level of the client. For first-timers a 90 foot waterfall which is situated above a cavern is recommended. To reach the top of the mountain where the best swimming holes are is an additional 40 minutes. Tours there vary according to groups’ level of physical fitness and energy.
Kayaking Mangroves: There are many options for those are seeking some paddling time. Hatillo Mangroves offers everything from a leisurely stroll through the mangroves to a hardy paddle down the rapids. You can also kayak through Ballena National Marine Park and experience all the nooks, crannies and caves along the seacoast.
Scuba/Trip to Cano Island: Cano Island Biological Reserve Diving Tours offer you scuba diving in one of the best locations in all of Costa Rica with normal visibility being 20 meters (65 ft.) in bath-water warm water 78F to 90F (25-32C)! You will encounter a great variety of marine life around the reef including White Tipped Reef Sharks that are more often seen than not, as well as giant Manta Rays, Turtles, schools of Jacks, colorful Eels and beautiful coral. If you don’t want to scuba dive, you can snorkel instead. The island offers a beautiful white sand beach, lots of tide pools to explore and a well maintained trail that leads you into a secondary rainforest and to an archeological cemetery where a professional guide will tell you about the many theories of the mysterious stone spheres which are unique to this area.
Snorkeling: The Whales Tale and Ballena Island at “Ballena National Marine Park”, Dominicalito and The Cano Island are great areas for snorkeling where you will enjoy; warm waters, abundant sightings, schools of Jacks, Parrot and Puffer Fish, Spiny Lobsters, Eagle Rays, Eels and much more. Ballena Island is connected to the National Park and is ideal for snorkeling. This area is commonly referred to as “The Whale's Tail”. Low tide offers the best snorkeling experience.
Whale and Dolphin Watching: The whale watching tour takes from 3 to 4 hours. Tours are from Marino Bahia Ballena National Park, the area surrounding Cano Island, and the Osa Peninsula coastline, near Corcovado National Park. The boat captain determines if the conditions are safe, and may allow you to get out of the boat and swim around in the ocean, where you may be able to listen the whale sounds. The whales can be seen from November to March and from July to September with the most common sightings being of Humpback and Pilot Whales. Dolphins are seen all year off our coast.
Corcovado National Park: Corcovado is one of the most biologically intense places on earth. The rainforest there is by far the most diverse in Central America. 500 different varieties of trees can be found. The Park is home to Giant Anteaters, Tapirs, Sloth’s and a few big cat species; the Jaguar, Ocelot, Puma and Margay. Four species of Monkeys live in the trees overhead; the Howler, White-Faced Capuchin, Spider and Squirrel Monkey. Corcovado also protects the largest population of Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica, not to mention at least 375 other species of birds, 140 mammals, 116 of amphibians and reptiles and 40 types of fresh water fish. In addition to the thousands of species of insects, Corcovado is also home to 220 species of butterflies including the Giant Blue Morpho.
Horseback Riding: There are several options available... La Merced: Just 5 minutes from Mareas are carefully trained horses suitable for everyone from non-riders to those of all experience levels. Your mount will carry you into close contact with natural wonders as you cross the Wildlife Refuge and enjoy a truly unforgettable adventure. Explore forests, ride on beautiful beaches, forge rivers and take in the view from breathtaking vistas. Ride into Punta Uvita in the Ballena Marine National Park and experience the tropical forests, beaches, rivers and waterfalls in unspoiled Costa Rican splendor.
Nauyaca Waterfall: Arguably the most spectacular waterfall in Costa Rica. The tour is on horseback with one or more guides depending on the size of the group. At the half way mark you will come to the home of Don Lulu and be treated to “Tico” style breakfast. A highlight of this tour is the small zoo on the property. After breakfast you will get back on the horses and head to the waterfall. Once there, enjoy approximately an hour and a half swimming, diving from the rocks or just lounging and watching in wonderment the amazing falls. You will then head back to Don Lulu’s and a delicious lunch will be served.
Ultra Light Flights: Experience the southern Pacific Coast with its amazing tropical forest and biodiversity from above. The two-seater, open cabin Ultra light is flown by an experienced sports pilot. It’s just you and the pilot so you can pick his brain or just enjoy the magnificent ride. This will certainly be one of the most exciting adventures of your life. The legendary Challenger II is well known for operational safety, flight performance and exceptional gliding capacity. Standard flight routes are offered however custom flights can be arranged.